The Westmead Millennium Institute (WMI) is headquarters for one of the largest medical research institutes in Australia. The building brings together staff traditionally housed across six sites of the Westmead Hospital campus.
The WMI building is designed to provide a flexible space that facilitates connectivity and collaboration amongst the research community, in line with WMI’s ‘bench to bedside’ approach. The design reflects the idea of ‘seeing the science’, whereby the form of the building reflects the inner workings and functions.
Laboratory areas are stacked atop each other and planned in a linear arrangement on each floorplate providing efficient services distribution, heightened PC2 circulation between floors and flexibility in the use of the laboratory areas. The structural grid responds to laboratory requirements and accommodates future expansion of the laboratory areas.
Beyond the PC2 areas an atrium provides physical interaction and views between floors, as well as natural daylight to what would otherwise be a deep floorplate, typical of research facilities. Office space, dry labs and write up areas offering optimal connection to the lab spaces can be accommodated at the ends of the labs or adjacent to and along the length of the labs.
At the lower levels, the heart of the facility and social spaces are delineated clearly, with a two storey café space opening to a large external garden and recreational area.
- Generic research office and write up
- Dry research offices
- PC2 generic research labs
- PC3 research labs
- PC2 animal house
- PC2 cell culture
- Clean rooms
- Glasswash and media prep
- Histology suite
- ‘Seeing the science’ - the workings of the building are made visible in the architecture
- Laboratory areas are stacked and linear within each floor, providing efficient services distribution, heightened PC2 circulation between floors and flexibility in use of laboratory areas to different research groups
- Atrium provides visual and physical connection between floors and natural daylight deep into floorplate (atypical of labs generally)
- Design of floorplate allows for future horizontal expansion of building, with easy extension of in-line services
- Building’s arrangement and façade treatment respond to functional requirements, expressing a clear logic, akin to the nature of the scientific research it houses
- External garden and recreational space